Dramatically simplify membership renewal process for members
This is a request to improve the process for members to renew memberships. Non-Profit organizations depend on memberships and membership renewals for continued funding and advocacy. As a result it’s necessary to repeatedly lobby members to renew, so it’s critical for membership renewals to be a convenient one click process to get to the Pay-Pal screen. Sending members to the home page and requiring a login and password in order to renew membership is inconvenient and cumbersome. We have two requests for improving the process:
1. A direct link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement (the way the “invoice” form functions), should be included in every Renewal Reminder email:
Renewal Day Notice
Grace Period Email Notice
Lapsed Email Notice
2. The link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement, should be one of the “link” selections in the “edit” option for emails. This would allow us to include a direct link to membership renewal in individual customized emails.
Below is an example from a “Renew Your Membership” menu tab on our website. This is the amount of explanation and instruction that is currently necessary for members to understand what is required to renew their membership. We must also explain this in our Renewal Reminder emails! It’s way too much to have to explain, making this too cumbersome for the public’s expectations. We say “It’s quick and easy” in hopes that people won’t get turned off by the amount of instruction.
It’s quick and easy to renew online!
Login with your email address and password (bottom left corner of this page).
Tip: Be sure to use the email address that our Membership Renewal email was sent to; our system accommodates one email address for each member and relies on the uniqueness of email addresses to differentiate among memberships.
Don’t have a password? Click the “FORGOT” password button (bottom left corner of this page). A password will be automatically emailed to you at the address connected with your membership. There's no need to memorize another password!
When you’ve logged in, follow the link under the “View Profile” menu button and click the “Renew” button next to your renewal date. Your renewal payment is secure through PayPal.
A more streamlined renewal payment process. Not so many screens, clicks or login required.
The general problem is that our members find the online renewal process complicated. Note that we are integrated with widgets, so we have a member services/renewal page for the purpose of renewals. Needing to obtain a password in order to renew seems to be a big hurdle. Most of our members were "integrated" in WA, so they didn't pick a password to begin with, and the whole idea of needing a password to renew is new. Many of them are older folks.
Ideal solution: allow people to use the Join page even if the database already has their email address on record. We would be happy to merge their renewal to the right member record behind the scenes.
For us, membership is really just a "scheduled donation" to our nonprofit. Our members don't get a lot of benefits, and don't have motivation to go through any extra hassle. Most of them don't want to keep track of yet another password and don't want to view their membership status or contact info. We need for the process to be drop-dead-simple, and right now it isn't that simple.
Aida Kenyon commented
A more streamlined renewal payment process. Not so many screens, clicks or login required.
Ed T commented
Amen - plus as in my suggestion once they (or often us on the backend) get to the payment screen the credit card information should already be prepopulated with the person's address and phone number if already in the system
I must comment again on the issue of a simple renewal process without requiring a password.
You say "We will get to this when other higher priority items are done." For our organization this has been our HIGHEST PRIORITY since 2012 when I first made this request. We don't consider this a "bells and whistles" software enhancement. This is absolutely necessary for the financial soundness of our organization.
We get continual complaints from our board and from members. Just yesterday I got an email that said, "I tried to renew online and gave up." When someone has given up, they have to be really motivated to get out a checkbook, write a check, address an envelope and stamp it.
Dollars lost. More manual work to follow up and try to motivate membership renewal.
Process should drive software design - not the reverse.
When the invoice is sent for renewal, that's great as it has a direct payment link which doesn't require a password. Not only does it make renewing easier (especially for our members who 99% of them never sign in) but they can forward the email to another person to pay (husband, PA, whatever).
The problem is with the reminders, which just say to log in to pay - someone who didn't see or bother paying the invoice the first time isn't going to go through all that, or go back and look for the original email with the link.
So... would it be possible to automatically (or make it an option to) include the same payment link in follow up reminder emails? Perhaps with a statement or a copy of the invoice.
Create better functionality for members to renew their memberships. In every membership reminder email, please include a link to go straight to their member profile for renewal, without requiring a password. Our members do not use passwords, and there is a huge falloff rate in getting online renewals. Must get frustrated and either don't renew or they mail a check. This is costing us significant revenue and causing us much extra time to personally follow up with people!
Ed T commented
the whole renewal process is broke; the only people who truly understand how it works are the programmers - the process needs to be designed from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about accounting, bookeeping, or computer programming and should them less than a minute to complete
We hear you, but it's not possible for us currently to make a quick change or something. We will get to this when other higher priority items are done.
The problem with auto-generating the invoices is that if the member fails to pay by the due date (or grace date if there is one), the invoice is automatically deleted from the system. No invoice should automatically be deleted - that violates almost every basic accounting and bookkeeping principle. It makes it nearly impossible to trace down any record of what happened - which is a manual process - when members start questioning why they can't pay the invoice that they swore was there one day and gone the next.
I have to say, we are really struggling with the member renewal process (for us, it is quarterly) and I don't know how much longer we'll be able to hold out against the membership. There is a very vocal minority working very hard to force us to give up this system.
This isn't as helpful as we need it to be as it doesn't provide a link back to the payment page - members have to log in, get dropped at their invoice page then don't know what to do (god forbid they read the directions we provide). They won't click the invoice link to get to the payment buttons.
The button is working well as long as they don't encounter the security certificate pop-up - that brings everything to a standstill as no one will proceed on their own. Any ideas on how to suppress that certificate pop-up?
Thank you, kerrieanne, for helping me here! :)
See if this helps :-)
It takes a while to set up all the various business rules and what not, but works pretty well once its done
Admittedly, its probably not as nice if you are wanting to manage offline payments such as checks as the system does tend to focus on online capability, given that it is an online membership management system.
I have been looking everywhere for how to automatically generate a renewal invoice and stumbled upon this thread and your post. HOW do you "automatically generate invoices and email the invoices" and HOW can we do that prior to the renewal date?
We're having a TERRIBLE time getting members to generate an invoice to send in with their checks and having issues with members not understanding the multiple clicks it takes to just pay their bills.
Currently, upon login, we're dropping members on a Members Only page with a "Pay My Dues" button that directs them to the Membership Renewal page (see link below) but it triggers a security certificate message which they aren't clicking through. Or, do you have a suggestion on how to avoid the triggering of the security certificate message? Either solution would be extremely helpful. Thanks!
The only workaround I can suggest now is to not send emails before renewal date, then set the system automatically generate invoices and email the invoices on renewal day. This way members can pay for the membership - but they will not be able to update their profile, etc. without logging in.
Please make membership renewal available to members to be able to click on a link in the renewal email notice in order to renew their membership online - without having to have a password.
The system allows 5 membership renewal notices: 2 before renewal date, one on renewal date, and 2 after renewal date. Our members have no need to use a password for any other reason. So why must they have a password to renew their membership? Just allow us to include a link in those 5 reminder emails for a one-click to get to their renewal page, according to the email address where the email is being sent. That doesn't have to get them to their "profile" to change their contact info, just to allow them to renew.
We get so many comments like "well it seemed to be such a bother to go through having to get a password and then go back to your website to sign in to renew, so I thought I would just deal with it later, and then I forgot about it." We are losing money!!!! Please don't make this so hard!
OK. Too bad need to work around what seems like such an important feature of any membership system.... getting members to renew easily!!
We just haven't analysed the problem yet, not in our Roadmap. We will get to it as soon as we can. But in general, creating a workaround is always much easier that implementing a proper process.
I know this is old post, but I don't get the impression that this was ever addressed.
The solution already exists!
Today, members and guests alike can pay for Events in Wild Apricot without logging in. Their payment gets associated to an email address. So, we could fake what we want by setting up an Event called "Renew Membership". Login is optional. So, why can't WildApricot just build that same kind of option on top of membership functionality? Don't log them in. There is no security issue.
Can you please clarify about this:
Where do you see this message? Is it on membership application page?
Mia Schober-King commented
Agree, with Could you change this to say "Click here to edit your profile or pay your dues."
I agree totally with Becky. The renewal process is overly cumbersome and difficult to explain, especially to non-technical members.
I like the idea of being able to include the invoice in an email, perhaps this could be a macro so it could be included in any email? And/or the ability to go to a payment page without having to log in. Our members rarely need to log in so this is a confusing/alarming process (Forgot my password? But I never had one in the first place!) and then even if/when they are logged in, it's not at all intuitive how to get to the renewal page. (Edit my profile? What does that have to do with paying my dues?)
One minor suggestion - on the yellow notice that says "You are already logged in, Click here to edit your profile." - Could you change this to say "Click here to edit your profile or pay your dues." - that would be SO MUCH CLEARER.
But my first preference by far would be to avoid logging in. People don't have to log in to pay for events, they don't have to log in to join in the first place - let's let them renew without logging in, too.